VivaTech, a three-day event dedicated to all facets of technological innovation, is about to kick off in Paris. A can’t miss meeting of major corporations, innovative startups and disruptors, Viva Technology is expecting more than 100,000 participants, 9,000 startups and 1,900 journalists, from 125 countries. The space sector will be present, of course, alongside Thales.
You will love this event is you’re a fan of the International Space Station. For example, VivaTech will talk about Columbus, the famous space lab in the ISS that has already welcomed astronauts from the United States, Europe, Japan, Russia and Canada to carry out cutting-edge scientific experiments. Also in the spotlight will be a brand-new technology from Italy: PIUME, a habitat than can be used in extreme environments, including mountains, deserts, arctic regions and space. Thales Alenia Space will provide an update on its new in-orbit servicing offer, a very timely new capability as operators seek to extend their satellites’ service lives. Moving higher up, way beyond the 400 kilometer altitude of the International Space Station, we’ll also be looking at new Moon adventures, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon. At the same time, we’ll be looking at other space exploration endeavors, including the ExoMars mission to the Red Planet, the iconic Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moons, and the recently launched BepiColombo mission to explore the mysteries of Mercury.
Following the recently published and very alarming report by the United Nations on the unprecedented collapse in biodiversity, with an estimated one million plant and animal species threatened with extinction, VivaTech is organizing a conference on satellites as a key to understanding our planet.
Columbus, a unique science lab circling the Earth at 400 kilometers
Launched in February 2008, Columbus is a versatile, multidisciplinary and multi-user platform. The “space lab” is primarily used for scientific research, and continues to host a number of tests and demonstrations in physics, medicine, biology, fluid mechanics and many other areas.
Thales Alenia Space played a lead role in this program, working for the prime contractor Airbus. We participated in system definition, supported the final integration and testing phases, and developed and pre-integrated the lab’s thermomechanical structure.
Virtual Reality demonstration to be unveiled @ VivaTech - © Thales Alenia Space
Like the two pressurized modules, Harmony (Node 2) and Tranquility (Node 3), the assembly of the Columbus lab started back in the clean rooms in Turin, Italy. The structure, thermal control system, survival equipment, plumbing and external protection were all completed in September 2001.
40% of the ISS built by Thales Alenia Space
ISS © Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programmes
The International Space Station (ISS) holds a special place in the hearts of Thales Alenia Space engineers based in Turin. Thales Alenia Space has supplied fully half of the pressurized volume on the ISS (40% of the entire station), including Nodes 2 and 3, the Multipurpose Module (MMP), Multipurpose Logistics Modules (MPLM), Cupola, Columbus lab structure, the pressurized cargo module for ATV resupply vessels and the structure for the Bishop commercial airlock from NanoRacks. Thales Alenia Space also supplies the pressurized cargo module for Cygnus resupply vessels on behalf of Northrop Grumman.
NextSTEP-2: © NASA
Looking beyond the ISS, Thales Alenia Space is gearing up for lunar missions, in particular with the LOP-G (Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway), and is carrying out design studies for NASA (as part of NextSTEP 2) and ESA. Furthermore, following the success of the IXV atmospheric reentry demonstrator, Thales Alenia Space is developing Space Rider, Europe’s new-generation, low-orbit, reusable space transport system.
PIUME, when you want to live life at the extremes!
PIUME © Thales Alenia Space
PIUME (Portable Independent Utilities and Modules for Extreme conditions) will be featured in a virtual reality demonstration at VivaTech. Reflecting Thales Alenia Space’s expertise in manned spaceflight and orbital infrastructures on the International Space Station, this module can be deployed in all types of environments, including polar and desert bases, military forward observation posts, oil and gas rigs, etc. It’s based on a concept designed to ensure survival in isolated or hostile zones.
PIUME can also be custom-tailored to suit different users and environments, and it offers full connectivity to support remote assistance services. PIUME can be deployed on Earth or in space.
A leading contributor to major space exploration programs
Venus, Mars, Mercury, Titan, the Moon, asteroids and comets… Thales Alenia Space is a pivotal partner in Europe’s fantastic missions across the Solar System. Company staff will be on hand at VivaTech to explain our solutions and share their passion for space exploration.